This post could also be entitled "The Dress of Doom" or "An Unhappy Ending."
I know. It sounds dramatic, and for good reason! It all started a few months ago when I got the notion to make a dress out of this little 3 1/2 yard piece of fabric. I have always had a tremendous desire to make Simplicity 1777, and this seemed to be just the time to make it.
I made a mockup long ago, and it just did not look good. After making my gumdrop dress, I got the idea of gathering this bodice rather than pleating it. It ended up looking much better than the pleats.
I started cutting out the bodice and sleeves, and then went to measure another '40s dress to see how much I needed to lengthen this skirt. The dress that I happened to be measuring was Simplicity 1587, which has a skirt yoke.
You can guess what comes next; I measured the length from the bottom of the yoke seam, rather than the waist seam. What. a. genius. That resulted in a skirt that was absolutely, positively too short! My only comfort was that I remembered there being a little more of this fabric at the store. We went there the following week, and it was still there! There were only about 1 3/4 yards left, however, and when I laid the skirt pieces out, that was not enough to lengthen them sufficiently. I wasn't extremely jubilant at that point, but through some helpful suggestions from my mom, I decided to try laying out the Simplicity 1587 skirt. It fit onto the fabric. I had a notion to make the skirt a little different, so I narrowed it down in order to omit the gathering in the center front.
I sewed up the dress and tried it on before installing the zipper, and it seemed to look great! But the next time I tried it on after the zipper was in, it looked shockingly bad. The combination of the bodice seam angles and skirt seams made for an absolutely dreadful dress. The skirt hung limply and had no shape whatsoever. I gave up on it at that point. There was no hope for the awful thing, and there was no way I would ever try to remake it!!
Last week, however, I finally worked up the ambition to try tweaking it so that it would hang properly. I ended up sewing the waist seam differently here and there, which made it palatable in the end. It's still not my favorite dress, at all, but at least it is wearable.
The conclusion which I have come to is that I no longer have an insatiable desire to make Simplicity 1777. At all.
Aside from the doom and gloom, there are some parts of the dress that I do like. The elasticized ruching on the sleeves is quite fun!
My most marvelous ungathered skirt and yoke. I do like the design, but this experience hasn't exactly boosted my confidence to make it again any time soon.
I also really like this hat. My mom finds the most amazing hats ever.
These buttons are another highly redeeming aspect of this dress. Don't they just look like butterscotch candies? For some reason this fabric just looked "caramel apple-y" to all of us, hence the slightly fall-like name.
I was glad to see that my lovely beaded purse matched this outfit as well. I just love it!
I am glad, at least, that I finished the dress. It's always a good feeling when you complete a UFO!
My current project is a 1930s dress, and I'm so excited! The bonus (on top of the fact that it will be my first really 1930s-style dress) is that it has a keyhole opening, perfect for photographing for my tutorial! That will be up within the next couple of weeks.
• Photography by my mom •